Johannesburg, 06 Feb 2024
Since data is considered to be the new oil, good data management is key for businesses operating in Kenya as it enables improved organisational agility, better and faster decision-making and quicker problem-solving based on accurate, up-to-date information. There are very few businesses today that do not leverage some elements of data within their day-to-day operations, and organisations now have huge potential to gather, store and analyse data to learn more about consumer behaviour, market trends and other important aspects that have an impact on their operations.
According to DataReportal, there were 17.86 million internet users in Kenya at the start of 2023, with internet penetration at 32.7%, which is one of the highest in East Africa. With the correct data management tools and tactics, businesses in the country can exploit this abundance of data to improve efficiency, cut costs and increase profitability.
Effective data management practices translate into information that is simple to access, analyse and gain useful insights that can guide business decisions. This may entail spotting patterns, projecting future expansions and highlighting potential improvement zones for the organisation.
Visibility of data assets
Additionally, proper data management can boost the visibility of a company’s data assets, which makes it easier to quickly find the right data for any specific analysis. Data visibility not only allows an enterprise to be more organised and productive, but also enables its employees to find the information they need to better do their jobs.
Unfortunately, many organisations in Kenya – across both the public and private sectors – still lack insight and understanding of where some of their critical data resides. This means that sensitive information can easily end up on unauthorised devices or e-mail accounts outside of the organisation, without the organisation even being aware of this. This naturally increases the chances of a data breach, which can have various negative consequences.
Probably the biggest risk associated with data breaches is reputational damage, which can lead to a loss of existing customers and the inability to attract new ones, which will have an adverse effect on a business’s bottom line. In addition, the loss of sensitive customer data could also result in fines and penalties being levied by regulators, depending on the particular industry sector.
Security and privacy
Data security and privacy are important functions of data management, which should be an important consideration for businesses in Kenya, as there are a growing number of regulations that are being introduced around data and how it should be processed and stored. Effective data management includes deploying the right authentication and encryption tools that are key to protecting an organisation and its employees from data loss, theft and breaches.
Robust data security also ensures that critical enterprise data is backed up and can be recovered in the event that the primary source becomes unavailable. Organisations should also be aware that security becomes increasingly important when their data contains any personally identifiable information that needs to be carefully managed.
However, besides ensuring that effective data management practices are in place, organisations should also review and update these measures regularly to ensure that their sensitive information is always handled and stored securely. Updating and reviewing data management practices is essential in a threat landscape that constantly changes as hackers continue to find creative ways to compromise IT environments.
Ultimately, data management should be top of mind for businesses in Kenya, because when data is organised properly, it is simple to access, analyse and can be used to gain useful insights that can guide business choices that will give an organisation a competitive edge.